mustang gt pp2

The News for February 26th, 2016

6237-McLaren+570GT_19 Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. I just throw in a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • McLaren reveals the 570GT, as close to a luxury McLaren as we’ll get

  • Bentley updates the Mulsanne flagship, adds two other variants with it

  • Lotus adds lightness with the new Evora Sport 410

  • Assetto Corsa console launch delayed till June

  • Acura teases the 2017 MDX with all-new design language

  • What’s your automotive news?

McLaren 570GT

6224-McLaren+570GT_05 When McLaren launched the Sports Series lineup with the less powerful, less technical, and less expensive 570S last year, it ushered in a new era for McLaren that would see them building cars aimed for real every day usability rather than all out performance. Certain parts of the car – all the way down to the carbon tub it’s built on – were specifically engineered for comfort and practicality, but the 570S is still a full fledged McLaren in every sense of the word. This week, McLaren announced a new addition to the Sports Series lineup which takes that everyday performance philosophy to new places: the 570GT. Yes, it’s another variant of an existing platform, but this one is a bit of a first for McLaren. It’s the first one to be built as a true long-distance driving machine, or a grand tourer. It may not immediately seem like it, but this mid-engine sports car has been thoroughly optimized for actual comfort. They even call it the most luxurious McLaren ever made. The word “luxury” is hardly even seen in McLaren press releases, but it’s in this one. Proving that it’s still a real McLaren with real capabilities is a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine which cranks out 562 horsepower and 443 lb.-ft. of torque to the rear wheels through a quick-shifting seven-speed automatic. The M838TE is identical to the one in the 570S and its power output is also the same. That means 0-62 mph takes only 3.4 seconds and it won’t stop till 204 mph. 6223-McLaren+570GT_04 In terms of exterior design, the most noticeable change is the addition of a curbside-opening (varies by market) glass hatch at the rear and a panoramic [tinted] glass roof up top. The new glasshouse makes the whole car look much sleeker than the 570S but also introduced the need for an extended fixed rear spoiler so that it could offer the same aerodynamic levels. The 570GT also rides on newly designed wheels. Other than that, the 570GT looks identical to the 570S. This car’s sense of luxury and enhanced practicality comes from a few key touches, starting with the glass hatch which provides easy access to an expanded storage shelf behind the seats. The 570GT shares all of its suspension and chassis hardware with the 570S but it’s been optimized for long-distance driving through reduced spring rates and a less aggressive steering ratio. The tires are even specially designed by Pirelli to offer reduced road noise (high performance tires are also available). And of course, the interior now has much more leather than in the 570S and a bunch of other luxury features which you probably don’t care about. 6228-McLaren+570GT_09 TL;DR, it has all the excitement and capability of the awesome “baby McLaren” that is the 570S, but it’s now developed a more mature character capable of comfortable long-distance driving or daily use. After all, if you want to drive your $200,000 super sports car to the track, you’ll have to not want to kill yourself while doing it…. so by the way, it starts at $199,850. Deliveries will commence late 2016. [Source: McLaren]

Bentley Mulsanne

01_Bentley Mulsanne Family And now for Bentley’s idea of “more luxury”, the new flagship Mulsanne family was revealed in a trio of variants for the first time. The new Mulsanne, Mulsanne Speed, and Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase models are all launching with a host of new updates to keep it the car of choice for those who hire crafty accountants during tax season. The tagline calls it the “ultimate expression of British automotive luxury”, which certainly sounds about right. All three Mulsanne models focus on sheer driving comfort and opulence, but each one is purpose built for a different kind of Bentley buyer – those that want to drive comfortably in style, those that want to drive fast and comfortably in style, and those who couldn’t care less about any of this and just want to be driven in a Bentley. No matter which one you get, you still end up with a powerful luxury car with incredible attention to detail. The “standard” Mulsanne on which the others are based off of benefits (I think) from a complete redesign from the A-pillar forward. Bentley calls it a “suite of elegantly executed styling revisions” which makes the car look more modern and stately appearance. In plain English, that means it has new fenders, bonnet, radiator shell, grilles, lights, and bumpers fore and aft. There are various other shiny bits all around the car which give it a more premium look as well. On the inside, those lucky enough to have a seat will also notice the redesigned seats, new door trims and armrests, unique glass switchgear, and fine leather in one or two of twenty-four colors. Or maybe they won’t notice because they’ll be too busy playing with the new infotainment system and integrated Bentley Entertainment Tablets (which are renamed Android tablets). Extended Wheelbase models are 9.8 inches longer than the “standard” Mulsanne which is entirely to the benefit of the rear seat passengers. They promise a first-class air-travel experience with their specially crafted, adjustable seats and folding leg rests (for maximum effect, just pretend that the speed bumps are turbulence). There is of course more to the Mulsanne’s interior than that, but you get the idea. Mulsanne Speed_3 The driver will get to play with a mighty 6.75 liter twin-turbocharged V8 which produces 505 horsepower and freakin’ 752 lb.-ft. of torque. That all gets channeled to quieter tires through an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox. Those that opt for the Mulsanne Speed get to command that same engine with their right foot but will instead get 530 horsepower and an astronomical 811 lb.-ft. of torque in return. No matter which Mulsanne you get, you’ll have more torque than a LaFerrari or a McLaren P1! The Speed runs the 0-60 mph sprint in 4.8 seconds. Pricing isn’t finalized yet but we’ll see deliveries starting this summer. [Source: Bentley]

Lotus Evora Sport 410

20160225112907-3b687157 Remember when we all thought the Evora 400 was the ultimate road going Lotus? …. Ha… Haha. Not anymore. Welcome to the Lotus Evora Sport 410, the new ultimate Lotus for at least the next year or so. As you can see, it has an extra ten digits and the word “Sport” in its name now, so it’s automagically better. In all seriousness, it’s a pretty substantial upgrade from the Evora 400, which is already supposed to be spectacular according to reviewers, including friend of Hooniverse Matt Farah. It’s still a road-going Lotus with “proper road manners”, meaning this isn’t a stripped down sport model that they can charge extra for. Everything has been done in moderation to produce what should be a finely balanced car for every day duties and even more weekend thrills. 20160225112905-8947e2d7 They’ve started it out properly by “adding lightness”, as they’re famous for. The Evora Sport 410 sheds 154 pounds through the extended use of carbon fiber and simplified body components, as demonstrated with the new one piece carbon tailgate. Complementing the car’s reduced weight is a higher-output version of the supercharged 3.5-liter V6 which was developed through the track-only 3-Eleven project. As a result, it now has 410 horsepower, just ten more than the Evora 400. That slight gain is amplified by the weight reduction and added downforce through the new carbon splitter and rear diffuser. Because it’s a newer and more exciting Lotus, it’s also had a fresh round of suspension and chassis tuning. The damping has been revised, there’s a 5mm drop in ride height, and the geometry has been improved somehow, the tangible results of which are sharper handling and better body control. It also rides on ultra light-weight, ten-spoke forged aluminum wheels wrapped in optional Michelin Cup 2 tires. 20160225112902-2f2d6929 When equipped with the standard six-speed manual gearbox, the 410 is also fitted with a low-inertia flywheel and a Torsen-type limited slip differential. Drivers also benefit from the Dynamic Performance Management driver aid system with predefined Sport and Race settings (that’s all you need) plus new carbon fiber sports seats trimmed with Alcantara. The Evora Sport 410 will be limited to a global production run of 150 vehicles per year to be distributed to all major markets… that means America, too! However, a specific North American version of the Sport 410 will be announced later in the year. European and Japanese customers can place orders starting this June. UK pricing starts at £79,900, or about $111,000. The want is strong. [Source: Lotus]



Skin used: LaFerrari FXX K Pack by Patcha.

Assetto Corsa’s Playstation 4 and Xbox One release has been pushed back to June 3rd in Europe and June 7th in North America. The PC-based racing sim was originally scheduled to release to consoles in April, but the development team at Kunos Simulazioni has decided they need more time to crank out a build they’re satisfied with. Chances are good that the same build released to consoles at this time will also be pushed to PC or will already have been. The press release states they’re taking the extra time to “polish it”, which is literally what every game developer says any time they delay something, but Kunos are different than most other developers. I’ve been playing Assetto Corsa on PC for over a year now and have been thoroughly impressed by the quality of each update they deliver. It’s been steadily getting better ever since and they’ve been generous with the content they’ve released for very reasonable prices. And the developers can take criticism like adults, so that alone makes it my preferred choice over Project CARS…. So TL;DR, the launch date is moved back about two months but the wait will be well worth it. [Source: 505 Games] 2017 Acura MDX Acura has released a teaser image of the all-new 2017 MDX before its New York debut and it looks like this. [Source: Acura via Autoweek]

What’s your automotive news?

whatsyourautomotivenaws That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments. Have a good weekend. [Image © 2016 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

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